Blog Nov 18, 2022

Data Analytics and its Benefits in Sports Fan Engagement

Data Analytics and its Benefits in Sports Fan Engagement

All actions in today’s highly competitive analytic economy are based on data and figures. The boom for the use of analytics has only grown in popularity over the previous decade, particularly in the sports business

As sports become more competitive and advanced, athletes and businesses look to analytics for answers and solutions to improve performance, data comprehension, and successfully attract fans and customers. Let’s take a dive into the topic and see the practical uses of analytics in sports fan engagement.

In this article you will find answers to:

  • Why data analytics is important in fan engagement?
  • How to use data analytics during the matchday?
  • How to enhance sponsor opportunities with rich data?

Why data analytics is important in fan engagement?

It’s the same story across all industries: it’s no longer enough for businesses to assume they know what their consumers want; they need to know exactly what they want and give it to them. They require data to do so. The sports sector is no exception. It’s critical for fan engagement since developing a deep understanding of each consumer gives a solid foundation for effectively engaging with and marketing to them.

Data Analytics and its Benefits in Sports Fan Engagement

Using data analytics during the matchday

Because supporters spend the majority of their time in their seats, it is vital to keep them engaged and focused while they are there. It is now less uncommon for different-sized sports teams to install giant scoreboard screens over the pitch. This is just the first step in bringing the fans closer to the action. 

However, instead of just displaying the current score, these boards may be used to display a multitude of sports data, providing fans with new insights. Player statistics, especially those based on more advanced measurements, can reveal new game aspects and engage the fans in creative ways. 

In an effort to engage spectators with a more immersive stadium experience, German football champions Bayern Munich sought to modernize their Allianz Arena stadium. The club placed new video walls and 1,200 screens around the stadium, which displayed additional match material and kept supporters engaged with real-time match data.

Even when the match is slow, the stadium can keep supporters’ attention by engaging and gamifying them on their smartphones with data-powered interactive quizzes, tournaments, and fan challenges.

According to TISA’s #GenZChallenge report, this so-called “dual screening” phenomenon is highly visible among Generation Z fans. 72% of Gen Zers like to get instant updates and additional information from more than one channel (and device) when watching the match. This behaviour shouldn’t be overlooked by sports clubs.

Using data analytics in between games

The matchday experience only lasts a couple of hours. However, collecting data on a daily basis, while keeping your fans engaged is the most important goal. But how do you do it?

Encouraging fans to become members is an effective way to acquire such information. To make an online membership attractive, engaging content is essential for collecting fan data. Exclusive material available only to members is a tried and true approach for enhancing fan engagement. 

Through a membership like this, your club can learn more about the preferred video or interactive content of each fan persona. Moreover, when such a membership is connected with your ticket or merchandise store, your club can benefit from detailed purchase data of your fans i.e. what category of tickets they buy or what kind of merchandise is most popular within the fan group.

Clubs should gather information on their supporters’ habits, demographics, and match-day experiences by asking them to take surveys and engage in quizzes. Conventional surveys are still quite informative and definitely not a relic of the past. It has become even more crucial to focus on the opinions of fans about club developments. Understanding your fans and their needs in between games makes fans feel appreciated and engaged in the club’s decision-making process and development.

In our previous KNOW THE SCORE interview with Mark Bradley of The Fan Experience Company, Mark emphasised the importance of surveys.

 “Feedback is another big area where digital is of great help. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen often that clubs ask their fans for their feedback.”

Don’t lose that opportunity! Let your fans be heard, get their feedback, and transform it into beneficial data!

Data Analytics and its Benefits in Sports Fan Engagement

Enhancing sponsor opportunities with rich data

Clubs can now see who was at the game, their in-stadium purchasing history, and where they travelled within the stadium with more detailed data. Possessing this specific information creates the opportunity for clubs to engage in more focused sponsor targeting and authentic engagement both inside and outside the stadium.

The ability to customise stadium advertising and come up with more inventive methods to work with sponsors are both made possible by precise data gathering. Using the previously mentioned data, clubs may include sponsor engagement in their contact with fans based on the supporters’ profiles and statistics. 

A real-world example would be sending out information about ride-sharing apps or hotel loyalty programs to fans who travel long distances to attend the game.

Furthermore, analytics can alter in-stadium advertising. Instead of generic advertisements on video screens or banners, unique data will enable more targeted advertising to specific groups of fans.

Say, the club’s stadium has a family sector and an ultras sector. If we knew exactly where each type of fan was sitting, the club could target consumers with advertisements that would actually suit them.

Using WICKET to collect data

WICKET is a powerful customer identity, consent, and access management tool designed to help sports organisations collect, store, and manage their fan base in one unified place.

Implementing WICKET in your sports organisation is a win-win situation for you and your fans.

On one hand, it allows you to connect and combine fan bases across all your digital tools, like your website, mobile app, ticketing platform, and e-commerce. The authentication mechanism enables easy integration with other TISA products or 3rd party solutions. Fans will appreciate easier access to your services without the constant need to type in passwords and logins. 

On the other hand, once integrated, WICKET becomes your single source of truth for customer data. It allows you to visualise the progress and effectiveness of your marketing and sales campaigns.

Thanks to Kamil Rzeźnicki, the Chief of Product at TISA Group, who contributed to the creation of content for this article with his experience and knowledge.



Are you looking for more information about digital transformation in the sports industry? Visit our website to learn more about dedicated products and innovations designed for sports. To find out more about how TISA can help your organisation thrive in the digital world, contact us directly – we will be happy to talk about your case. And if you’d like to join our team and help us create the best digital solutions for the world of sports, check out our current career opportunities.